Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Joss Whedon: A Renaissance

Who would have known? Avengers got an early release here in Vietnam (I am travelling on business) and I had the privilege of seeing this movie before my friends in the U.S. I can only hope that someone reads this before it comes out because it was well worth the time and money to see the film. In fact, I might even want to watch it again because it was so entertaining. Though The Avengers was great, I just wanted to expand the topic a little bit to focus more so on Joss Whedon, the director of not only this movie but produced another work that recently came out, The Cabin in the Woods.

Now just to preface anything on The Cabin in the Woods, I came into this movie with nearly no expectations. I did not even realize until the opening credits that Joss Whedon had even been involved in the project. It was  a sort of meta film that poked fun at all the conventions of modern Horror films. If you want a movie that involves ghosts, hellraisers, giant snakes, zombies and even a *gasp* violent unicorn kill then this movie is definitely for you. It involves the usual shtick of a lot of slasher horror films with a bunch of young adults going out to a cabin in the woods for a nice little weekend. Of course, ghouls, killers and buckets of blood come out to play and haunt these kids. You can sense Joss' conventions in the film with some pretty original thoughts on the horror genre and I must say this director, Drew Goddard, might have a pretty bright future in the industry as well.

Joss' star is on the up and up. He has had a lot of success in television with Buffy but also saw some commercial failures in Firefly and Dollhouse. Marvel, from a business stand point was taking a bit of a risk on Joss when they decided to let him take the helm on the Avengers. His only other venture on to the big screen as a director was muddled debut called Serentiy. Honestly, it is one of my favorite sci-fi movies of all time and thought the marketing was muddled and mediocre at best.

Anyways, Avengers did a great job of keeping the plot moving at a fast pace but still fill enough camera time and action for each of the characters involved. A few small surprises and revelations with each character grappling with their new roles as becoming key members of a new team in fighting a cunning and manipulative enemy. I was surprised how much plot development there was with so many opportunities for big name actors and characters to steal the show. If anything, I only wish there was more dialogue but I think a lot of the camera work and long takes helped tell the story.

Go see Avengers and if you have an open mind, go see The Cabin in the Woods. It will be time well spent.

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